Major Bingo Operators Entering Italian Bingo Market

The Italian is Europe’s most lucrative gaming market and this face has not gone unnoticed by online bingo operators. Many bingo operators are setting their sights on the Italian market. The UK bingo market is saturated and over 400 bingo sites currently target the UK bingo market which is the world’s largest. Recent changes in Italian gambling law have made online gaming legal and a number of licenses have been granted to several bingo sites. Currently Italian bingo players may play at many of the major online bingo sites but most of these are English only. The Italian government does try to monitor online gaming and filters some gaming websites. Most of the filters have proved to be ineffective and the European Union is trying to stop the use of the site filters.

The game of bingo was born in Italy and today the largest bingo hall in the country is the Queen Bingo Hall in Bologna. The Queen Bingo Hall offers players seventy table games in a gaming area of 70 square meters. In Italy bingo halls are trendy and many use the latest technologies. In Italy 90 ball bingo games are the most popular. 90 ball bingo bears a resemblance to Tombola which is a holiday tradition in Italy. Bingo sites must have the approval from the Amministrazione Autonoma Monopoli di Stato. (AAMS, the Italian Gaming Authority) At the present time the regulatory body does not trust bingo sites to generate their own random numbers during games. Platforms used by bingo operators in Italy must be developed to use numbers from the AAMS’s own servers. This adds an extra obstacle for bingo operators to overcome.

Italy may become one of the first European countries to open their gaming market to foreign operators. In January of 2011 Federbingo, a consortium of land based bingo halls, announced they are entering the Italian bingo market. Italo Marcotti, President of Federbingo told reporters “This is a landmark occasion and we are excited to embark on a new era of gaming, which will be a tremendous opportunity for land-based licensees’ to start with online activity.”

Recently UK bingo giant William Hill announced plans to enter the Italian online bingo market. William Hill also plans to offer bookmaking options, poker, and sports book betting. If the Hill operation is successful many expect more UK based bingo operators to enter the Italian gaming market.

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